PASSION FRUIT FARMING Joyce Gema

Passion fruit (Passiflora sp.) belongs to the family Passifloraceae. It is a perennial crop which produces fruits within a year. In Kenya, passion fruits are grown in Thika, Nyamira, Kisii, Nyeri, Kakamega, Murang’a, Meru, among other regions.

Fruits can be eaten fresh or processed into juice.

VARIETIES

There are two major passion fruit varieties grown in Kenya. These are; Passiflora edulis– this is purple in colour when ripe, quite acidic, and tasty and juiciness varies. It has a strong aromatic scent and is round in shape. This variety is suited to the subtropical regions. Passiflora flavicarpa– it is yellow when ripe, oval in shape and less aromatic. This variety is adapted to the tropics, thus does very well in Kenya. Both varieties are usually green in colour before ripening.

ECOLOGICAL REQUIREMENT

Soil– passion fruit plant thrives in deep well drained soils with a PH range of 6.0-7.0. The soil should also be rich in organic matter.
Altitude– the crop does well in an altitude range of between 1200-2000M ASL.
Rainfall– an annual rainfall of about 900-2000mm is suitable for an optimal production of this crop. Excess rainfall leads to poor fruit sett and also encourages diseases.
Temperature– for optimal production, a temperature range of between 18-28 degrees centigrade is sufficient.

PROPAGATION

Propagation is by seeds, grafts, or cuttings.

Seed Propagation

Seedlings are first raised in a nursery beds. Quality seeds should be got from the best fruits.

Procedure

- Plough a piece of land and prepare beds of 1m wide
- Drench soil with a mixture of LOYALTY 700WDG 10g + PYRAMID 700WP 100g + OPTIMIZER 20ml in 20litres of water. This helps in eradicating soil pests and diseases and breaks seed dormancy, promotes uniform germination as well as supplying nutrients.
- Plant seeds in furrows, 30 cm apart.
- Cover seeds lightly with soil
- Mulch with a thin layer of grass. Mulching is removed after germination.
Seeds can be soaked in OPTIMIZER 20ml/1L overnight. This helps in breaking dormancy.
Seeds germinate in 10-15days.
The seedlings can be transplanted when they are about 25-40mm tall.
NB; -Cuttings should be gotten from an actively growing young and newly mature wood with 2-3 internodes.
Grafts are got by joining rootstock and scions of different passion varieties.

Planting in Main Field

Procedure
- Land preparation. This is made easier and effective by use of CLAMPDOWN 480SL 200ml/20l because it kills all types of weeds.
- Prepare holes about 45*45cm, at a spacing of 3*2metres.
- Fill the holes with soil mixed with manure and DAP. In order to improve on nutrients uptake by the young plants as well as stimulating growth, it is advisable to incorporate manure and DAP with HUMIPOWER at the rate of 1ton manure and 50kg fertilizer in 1kg Humipower each.
- Water the holes unless the soil is wet enough.
- Plant the seedlings/ grafts in the holes.
Shading can be done to protect the young plants direct sunlight and the growing site should be protected from strong wind.
Passion fruits are climbers and therefore construction of trellis for support is important.
Pruning, which involves regular removal of tendrils, causes the vines to entangle ensuring that the lateral branches hang down freely.

PEST & DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Pests
- Aphids– these are soft bodied insects, which are green, black or brown and suck plant sap. Infested leaves curl and crinkle. As they feed, they excrete honeydew which facilitates the development of sooty mold which reduces photosynthetic area. Stunted growth is noted.
Spray KINGCODE ELITE 50EC 10ml/20L or PENTAGON 50EC 10ml/20L or LOYALTY 700WDG 5g/20L
To clean the sooty mold, spray JAMBO CLEAN 100ml/20L
- Mealy bugs – these are small, flat, soft bodied insects with their bodies covered with a whitish secretion. They suck sap from tender leaves, petioles and fruits. Severely infested leaves become yellow and eventually dry. As they feed, they also excrete honey dew on which sooty mold develops.

Winnie Mutheu

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

2 Comment

Roy Mwaniki
Feb 18, 2019

Curabitur eleifend mattis velit, gravida posuere mauris dapibus non.

Reply
Stella Wanja
Feb 18, 2019

Curabitur eleifend mattis velit, gravida posuere mauris dapibus non.

Reply

Post A Comment

Name

Email

Your Comment